After losing 4 out of the last 5 games, Waterloo has added some "fire power" to help them stay in 1st place in the USHL's Western Conference, which would solidify a first round bye and home ice advantage in the playoffs.

The Black Hawks have wrapped up a deal to acquire 20-year-old forward Joey Strada from Des Moines, in exchange for Ryan Drkulec, just ahead of the United States Hockey League trade deadline on Monday. Strada is a veteran Forward in his 4th year of Junior Hockey. The Scottsdale, Arizona, native was Des Moines’ leading goal-scorer (19) through his 42 appearances with the Bucs. Adding 16 assists, Strada had 35 points, with 28 of them recorded at even-strength. His time in Des Moines was highlighted by a six-game goal streak (November 2nd to November 17th), which overlapped an eight-game point streak (November 2nd to November 23rd). On November 9th, Strada scored four times in an 8-4 win over the Tri-City Storm, matching the league-high for goals in a game by one player this season.

Over the prior three years at the junior level, Strada was a member of the Aberdeen Wings of the North American Hockey League. He played in 173 NAHL regular season games, scoring 47 times and assisting on 97 others. The Wings were the 2019 NAHL Robertson Cup playoff champions. Strada scored the game-winning goal in Aberdeen’s 2-1 title-clinching game last May against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. He is committed to Arizona State University.

Drkulec was in his second season with the Black Hawks. This year, the Harvard recruit had 11 goals and 21 assists in 42 games. As a Black Hawk in 2018/19, Drkulec recorded 12 goals and 11 assists over 55 contests.

Strada joins Waterloo in time for a weekend road trip to meet USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program on Friday and the Youngstown Phantoms on Saturday. He has four goals in four games against those opponents this season.

More From 97.7 KCRR